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Exactly what is Marketing Automation all about?

Written by Stefan Krafft on . Posted in Content Marketing, Lead Management, Marketing Automation, Marketing Automation Blog

I’m sure that you have heard about it before. An Industry is booming and there are a lot of “buzz” going on about two magic words; Marketing Automation. It is certainly all about Marketing and you should be thankful for that, because that´s what marketers do, create outstanding ideas that make our businesses grow. But what has happened is that modern technology has made it possible to do your marketing even better.

The word automation explains a huge part of what it can do for you, but there’s much more than that…

Marketing Automation – what´s in it for me? 

Below you’ll find a list of what Marketing Automation is all about as I see it. Now it´s up to you to make your own definition. Make your choice and I would be happy to hear which one you choose and why. If I have missed out on any, or several, let me know.

When you have read through this list I’m sure of one thing; the question if Marketing Automation is for you will be answered.

- It´s about technology
Of course it is and the key elements within Marketing Automation is tracking, scoring and nurturing. Those are made possible with a tracking script for both IP-addresses and e-mail addresses. Besides these three main functions there are added tools to make your marketing happen.

- It´s about automation
With Marketing Automation technology, you can set up a “workflow” to get your marketing start once a trigger event takes place from one of your prospects. The workflow is based on a what-if methodology, if this happen then this should happen. This is the automation part and makes a huge difference for everyone.

- It´s about processes
Now you can determine what Marketing does and what sales does in when its comes to transforming digital marketing into leads and further to become customers. Also, it´s about setting marketing processes that until now, often has been driven by campaigns and ad-hoc activities. Those days are gone, finally it´s time to streamline and focus on revenue and results on the bottom line.

- It´s a tool
Yes, its a tool. There are not so many Marketers I know (but I know a few…) that are seeking for a system to improve their work. Most Marketers just don´t think like that. Systems means administration and trouble, and in many cases I admit that it is truth. Marketers are looking for smart and easy tools to boost their efforts and they are constantly seeking new opportunities with new technology. Do you see the difference? If you´re a marketer I know you do.

- It´s about closing the loop for sales and marketing
This one is crucial. The highest priority for almost every marketer is to deliver qualified leads to sales. Top ranking in every B2B survey that I have read the last year. (Like this one: http://bit.ly/TDbh7x)
To sit down with a Sales Manager and together set up the rules of what a lead is and what a qualified lead is and how sales are going to act on them is probably one of the nicest meeting you have ever will have with that person.

- It´s about one customer database. One database.
Imagine that you had one source with all digital footprints of your prospects, leads and customers. Then think of the possibilities you should have to act on that knowledge. It´s a dream come truth for marketers and for sales people. It is also a way to look upon Marketing Automation that everyone can relate to.

- It´s what CRM is for sales
If you know what Marketing Automation can achieve and want to explain it in an easy way, this one is for you. A sales squad without a CRM system doesn’t work and no one argues against that. Marketing Automation will become for Marketing what CRM is for sales. No doubt about that.

- It´s metrics to prove marketing results
Marketers have always been struggling to prove the benefits of their job. You know all about it and you have probably been there yourself. The old way of measuring marketing is not working anymore, if it ever has. The metrics we used to measure was not about what every CEO want to know; how much more money did we make because of marketing. As long as marketers keep on tracking other things they will keep on loosing trust from top management. 70% of CEO have lost trust in marketers. Marketing Automation helps you to talk the same language as your CEO. Let´s start doing that.

- It´s about being more efficient and save money
As (almost) every technology innovation it´s about being more efficient and Marketing Automation is no exception. To be able to do more in less time is a big part of what this is all about, and time saved can be used to create more outstanding marketing. What you do if you had more time to spend on your marketing?

- It´s about relevance
For me personally this statement summons it up really good. As a marketer we always strive for relevance and accuracy in our work and Marketing Automation makes that happen. When your work is about finding and attracting an audience to start interacting with you need tools to help provide the right content to the right person at the right time. To do this you need two things; really good content that fits every stage of your audience buying cycle and a system that help you communicate your content.

Convinced? Have you found your definition of what Marketing Automation is all about? Actually it doesn´t matter how you define it. The important thing for every marketer is to find out how to use it and that´s what I’m hoping for when writing this; to make you see the endless possibilities that Marketing Automation can achieve for you. The time has come, dear marketing friends. Let´s get started with Marketing Automation to get things done the way it should be done.

Happy marketing!

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